Disaster: Day of Crisis

Hardcore survival, one waggle at a time

When we first saw the Wii Remote and learned of all its motion-sensing powers, we imagined a new age of sophisticated motion controlled-games.

While a great deal of that motion control has ended up resulting in a shake of the Remote here, and a waggle there, Disaster: Day of Crisis is one game that has its intentions still firmly rooted in that initial motion-controlled dream.

DoC squeezes every last ounce of use from the Remote and Nunchuk's motion and pointer functions. It has you moving your hands, pointing at the screen, or turning the remote on its side in one of the most varied cocktails of differing gameplay, as it tries to use every aspect of both controllers.


Before we go through all that, let's start with how it all kicks off. You're Raymond Bryce - a member of an emergency rescue team, out on a rescue mission at an active volcano where it seems some people were caught with their pants down by a sudden eruption.

Bryce gets the explorers to safe ground and all seems well when suddenly your helicopter is smashed out of the sky by molten rocks just before picking you up, leaving you stranded on the increasingly angry volcano.

This is where basic gameplay kicks off. You run with the Nunchuk's analogue stick, jump with A and hold B to break into a sprint. In old-school videogame fashion, boxes, crates and barrels can be battered open, by shaking the Wii Remote and Nunchuk at them, revealing health and other power ups.

You start to get an idea on the game's emphasis on survival - or rather the limitations and fragility of the human body - with its stamina and breath system. If you walk into a smoky area Bryce starts to suffocate. If you sprint through said smoke, however, it won't affect you, but a circular stamina gauge on the top-left corner of the screen ticks up as you run.

Exhaust yourself and Bryce will curl over to get some breath - not too convenient when you're in danger of death. It's all about managing your limitations and acknowledging real dangers.

You might find yourself running to avoid some falling rocks or a collapsing bridge, then you come across a smoke-filled area from a nearby fire. You know you need to run through it so, before going for it, you have a rest first.

When you emerge from the other side of the smoke, you can hold Z on the Nunchuk to make Bryce take a deep breath - unclogging his lungs, lowering a separate intoxication gauge of some kind and avoiding further breath-related problems. It's like we're talking about The Sims, with all these status gauges.


Speaking of fire, get too close and your clothes will catch alight. A burns gauge starts to rise, and you're in a race against time to pat them out, which you do by beating the Remote and Nunchuk alternately.

Not happy with all that shaking, the game also has you doing just that to run from particularly epic dangers - such as a rushing stream of molten lava - in cutscene-style action sequences. The camera pans to the front of Bryce, giving you a cinematic view of the danger behind him as he legs it.

A little later in the game you find yourself in a fictional east-coast American city rather similar to New York, where it's all about to kick off. First you find yourself in an unexpected gun fight with a terrorist group at a police precinct.

For the shooting sections, the game enters a lightgun style of play, where you view the action through first person and shoot enemies by pointing the Remote at the screen, and your progress through the level set on rails. Holding Z makes you take cover (think Time Crisis) for which the camera pans out to third person. Shaking the Nunchuk reloads your gun.

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